Game 4 Aftermath: Monday news wrap

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Published: April 28, 2008

The Hornets took a 3-1 series lead over the Mavericks last night, and to follow up we've got more news, notes and quotes from around the funky interwebs. Enjoy. Oh, and don't forget to check Ryan's game recap, right here. 

First we have Dirk Nowitzki, who was already putting this series in the past tense after the loss. From Tim McMahon at the DMN Mavs' blog…

  • Maybe it was a simple slip of the tongue. It was more likely evidence of Dirk's subconscious lack of confidence in the Mavs' ability to come back from a 3-1 deficit.

    "We just didn't have a great offensive series, I guess," Dirk said.

    Not haven't had — didn't. As in, this series is over.

Doom and gloom for Mavs fans, courtesy of Jean-Jacques Taylor…

  • When the Dallas Mavericks lose this series to New Orleans – Game 5 seems like a pretty sure bet to me – their status as an elite team will officially end… That eight-year streak of making the playoffs, second only to San Antonio's 11-year streak, will end in 2009.

David Moore of the Dallas Morning News goes hard on Josh Howard…

  • This series is lost because Howard has been a lost cause. The forward has averaged 12.7 points and gone an unsightly 25.9 percent (15-of-58) from the field.

    Feel free to insert the obligatory marijuana joke of your choice.

Over at ESPN.com's Daily Dime, Marc Stein doesn't have much confidence in the Mavs either…

  • You'd give Phoenix more of a chance to overturn its 3-1 deficit to mighty San Antonio faster than you'd suggest Dallas can come back from 3-1 down in this series… It would be an absolutely mammoth surprise, after this dour display, if Dallas goes to its coach's hometown and finds a way to drag Paul back here for a Game 6.

From the AP game report over at ESPN.com…

  • The Mavs went from scoring 30 points in the first quarter to 14 in the second quarter, then 40 in the entire second half.

Some great comments on the Game 4 performances on every Hornets player from Jim Eichenhofer over at Hornets.com. Also from that recap…

  • This one was especially sweet for the Hornets, who went up 92-73 with 3:38 remaining. At that moment you heard something you never thought would happen in the American Airlines Center: visiting Hornets fans loudly doing the "MVP" chant for Chris Paul, as the All-Star point guard stood at the foul line. The Mavericks' fans who opted not to leave early were left with the task of trying to drown out that chant by booing.

A message posted on Josh Howard's official website yesterday…

  • I recently talked about a controversial topic with members of the media. I used poor judgment and I want to apologize to my fans, the Mavericks and the NBA. I am fortunate to be playing basketball in the League. I realize I have a responsibility as a role model for young fans, and I take that responsibility seriously.

More from Tim McMahon, who was live-blogging Game 5…

  • They had a handful of guys shooting from halfcourt during a timeout contest. Four guys fired up airballs.

    And the last dude hit nothing but net.

    Not sure what, if anything, he won. But he did keep the crowd buzzing.

    And he's hit one more shot than Jerry Stackhouse during the last two games.

Quotes regarding Jason Kidd's take-down of Jannero Pargo

  • "That's the official's call," Kidd said following the Mavericks' 97-84 loss to the Hornets. "I wasn't trying to hurt [Pargo]. I was just trying to stop him from getting an easy layup and send him to the free throw line."
  • Avery Johnson: "I saw a review of it. Kidd wasn't trying to hurt anybody. I think he got caught in a bad position. It was just a tough call. By no means was he trying to injure Pargo."
  • "It was just a hard foul," Hornets guard Chris Paul said, "but I don't think there's a reason for him to be suspended for the next game."

Over at Ball Don't Lie, Kelly Dwyer is pretty worked up about the whole thing, and thinks Kidd should definitely be issued a suspension. Great point he makes about Kobe…

  • Cut the excuses, and forget how much he makes per year: this is a man that should be suspended, and this is a league that needs to wake up. That wasn't a "playoff foul" that sent Jannero Pargo to the floor in Game 5; because when you feel a man's neck or head in your hand, you let — the heck — go. You take your hands off of him as soon as you know you're feeling neck.

    And if we're dealing with a league that suspended Kobe Bryant (twice!) for a pair of slaps on the follow-through of a jump shot (slaps that I've still yet to be convinced were thrown on purpose), how can we justify Kidd playing in Game 5?

And courtesy of Hornets Hype, here's video of Kidd's flagrant foul.

From Kate Hairopoulos in the Dallas Morning News

  • New Orleans Hornets forward David West stewed about his Game 3 plight for two days.

    Before Game 4 against the Mavericks at American Airlines Center, New Orleans coach Byron Scott revealed that tidbit with a smile.

    "He doesn't talk a whole lot," Scott said of how his 6-9 forward acts when he's frustrated. "When you get to know him, you know that means he's kind of steaming inside because he didn't play the way he was capable of. I look for him to really come out super aggressive."

Randy Galloway's thoughts on the Mavs not getting to the free throw line so much in Game 4…

  • Get this: from late in the first quarter, to near the halfway point in the third, the Mavs did NOT shoot a free throw. Zero, nada, zip. That AWOL stretch at the line went 22 un-bleeping-believable minutes.

    If you don't have the desire to drive the hole, then you won't be going to the line. It's an indictment, however, that is ongoing with this group of players.

Low in this article from Lori Dann, Chris Paul comments on Brandon Bass, who had 12 points and 9 boards in 25 minutes last night…

  • "B-Bass is my guy," Paul said. "It's been great to see how well he's played; just wish he had a Hornets uniform on."

Jan Hubbard has started to believe in the Hornets

  • In Game 4, it is not a stretch to say that the Hornets became veterans. And as they go home for a game that can send them to the second round, they can be sure that the bandwagon will be jam-packed.

Nothing to do with the series really, but an interesting story in today's Star-Telegram about TNT sideline reporter Pam Oliver, who was working the Hornets-Mavs game last night…

  • "I thought my mother's hair dye was a strawberry milkshake, so I drank it," Oliver said. "We ended up at the very same hospital at the very same time that President Kennedy was brought there."

Kudos to Mark Cuban, who had a Hornet heckler thrown out of the building last night. John Reid tells the story in today's Times-Picayune…

  • With just more than three minutes remaining and the Mavericks trailing 92-73, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and a fan seated in a courtside seat exchanged words. The fan was relentlessly harassing Chris Paul and trying to goad a verbal confrontation from the Hornets' point guard. But Cuban intervened and had the fan escorted out of the American Airlines Center by security.

    Paul said the fan merely went overboard and had no further comment

Eddie Sefko has a slightly different take on this story in the Dallas Morning News…

  • It was originally believed that Paul asked the referees to eject the fan. But Cuban said referee Steve Javie threw out the fan.

    "The guy didn't curse, but Javie decided to come over and kick him out of the game," Cuban said. "Told him that 'he wasn't allowed to talk to players by name.' That was it."

(FYI, there's images of said heckler here and here.)

Byron Scott had more to see about the officiating before yesterday's game, specifically the calls between Erick Dampier and Tyson Chandler. This from Teddy Kider's lead article in the T-P…

  • "(Erick) Dampier's holding him about as much as probably his wife would at 11 at night," Scott said Sunday morning. "I mean, it's ridiculous how many times he holds him and he doesn't get a call, but Tyson gets little ticky-tack calls."

A great game recap as usual from At the Hive, featuring an image of Juwan Howard's excellent bench play last night, and thoughts on the Hornets own reserves…

  • Byron Scott must have heard my cries of anguish through this blog, because he unleashed Julian Wright big time. Seriously, how good is this guy going to be? He runs the fast break like a young Vince Carter, he stops his crossovers on a dime like Chris Paul, and his jumper is eerily reminiscent of a young Kobe- good but not great. And there’s that whole dunking thing. Here’s what I found most encouraging about this game- our best bench player, Bonzi Wells, goes 1-4 from the field, is a total non-factor, plays just twelve minutes, and we’re still talking about how good the bench was.

In the Star-Telegram, Jeff Caplan tells us Byron Scott's thoughts on Game 5

  • "Like I told my guys," Scott said, "this is going to be the toughest game in this series. The toughest game in the world is the close out. The good thing about it is it's going to be at home.

    "We have to come out aggressive and hopefully take their life away."

Leaving it today with the words of Mike Fisher over at Dallas Basketball

  • "Our backs are against the wall," said Josh Howard of the Mavs' prospects in Tuesday's Game 5. "We have nothing to lose."

    Well, yeah. Nothing to lose except, you know, the series. And maybe some fans. And maybe some jobs. But otherwise, right, nothing to lose.

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